Thursday, September 25, 2008

The C of E wades in

Archbishops attack profiteers and 'bank robbers' in City

Perhaps this is off-topic, but now that only the fairies can hold up house prices I think are interest is broader. I welcome the Church offering their views, especially as politicians seem incapable of offering convincing leadership these days. ' "To a bystander like me, those who made £190m deliberately underselling the shares of HBOS in spite of a very strong capital base, and drove it into the arms of Lloyds TSB, are clearly bank robbers and asset strippers," he said.' Bystander, you're not the Archbishop are you???

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:58 AM (1160 views)
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14 thoughts on “The C of E wades in

  • Again, well meaning , but no understanding.

    A lot of problems can be linked back to the REGULATED credit rating agencies. The free market in CDS was indicating problems well before time (BECAUSE people are allowed to speculate that companies and banks might be run badly as well as being run well).

    Can anybody who criticises short selling suggest a better mechanism for incentivising smart people to work out which companies and banks have problematic management (Oh…. sorry you can’t – thats because you don;t understand what the hell you are talking about).

    The fact that this bystander thinks that HBOS has a very strong capital base is one opinion. (doesnt matter how qualified) . Many opinions will make a market. If many smart people are of the opinion that it isn’t then it will go down. (its really , really hard to understand isn’t it).

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  • which is closer to a democracy by the way?

    The fact that many views make the up the combined opinion (short selling, CDS market)

    OR somebody decides the “facts”? Who decided they were underselling. An “Authority” figure maybe? (no short selling, credit rating agencies). Maybe the somebody who decides the facts should be Mr Paulson, Mr Brown,Mr Darling, Mr Williams?

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  • last_days_of_disco says:

    I think that Rowan Williams is right about the Marx quote, but wrong about the short selling thing and really wrong about HBOS.

    Short selling is helping to expose the fact that HBOS is a big part of the problem. They didn’t fight the deregulation using their power and influence when they could have. They loved it and got hocked up to their eyeballs. Very wealthy people have a lot of power and influence and they could have made principled stand on these things and got their wealthy buddies to stand with them and block this stuff. With all that wealth comes a lot of responsilbity.

    They can’t stand back now and say, “Nothing to do with me guv, it was low interest rates that did it”. Surely they could have influenced the government. And anyway, if you look at HSBC, while they had some exposure, they have still done well without being as exposed anywhere near as much as HBOS. No, HBOS was not sound, they chose to be a giant Northern Rock and now they have paid the ultimate price. The short sellers are the little kid, saying, “He hasn’t got any clothes on”. At least the kid is being paid handsomely. 😉

    The quotes on poverty are excellent though and powerfully illustrate the injustice of the global financial system.

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  • This is very difficult, because the Church should have been saying something about this long ago, and didn’t… much. In a bizarre sense, I am very much on the side of the short sellers in the case of HBOS, because it was important to realize that the company had been managed abysmally and was not in a strong trading position at all. I would say that IF you want free markets and IF you want deregulation to this extent, banning short selling is absolutely insane, if not criminally so.

    I have written under another name various commentaries concerning the role of the church in various positions in the late 20th century, and to my great sadness, they do not appear in that tract of time very much at all; there should have been a clear moral voice long, LONG ago, way back in the 1980’s. The fact is that we are long past a point where a valuable critique could have been applied to the City, and now we are embedded in the disaster itself, making statements in isolation about trading methods is not very useful.

    But I have long suspected that the church (the people who really DO care and look for God) will wake up almost at the end of all of this. But this is not it. Not by a long way.

    The transformations that occurred in the late 20th century made it very difficult for the church to have any voice at all. But sooner or later, other things will appear and the church really will have to make a comment on them, and get it right.

    But that hasn’t happened yet. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to that phase anyway, and neither are any of us here.

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  • Just a touch hypocritical coming from a Man Of The Cloth. The church have been ripping us off for at least the last 800 years…

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  • Yes and I suppose this crisis hasn’t helped the Church’s property portfolio either.

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  • I think the Christian church needs to remember that it is the only religion to allow lenders to charge interest and that they themselves relaxed the usury laws so they could go crusading around the world.

    Now I live in a world where banks pay less interest on savings than the rate of inflation and less than the rate on loans. By fractional reserve + fiat currency they can create as much money as they want and charge interest on it. The money they create is the source of inflation. Wages rise less than the rate of inflation because we are told inflation will spiral upwards otherwise so the only way to meet the shortfall is to borrow. There is no point in saving because the money will be eroded away. What if I want to save some as insurance against unexpected events? Or save for retirement when I’m no longer able to work? They have a strangle hold over everything. Now they have created a disaster they want us to give them what little we have left to get them out and at the same time they more grab power as well!

    If I were the archbishop I would think a bit harder about why usury is a sin in every other religion and no one is allowed to charge interest..

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  • “One of the ironies about this financial crisis is that it makes action on poverty look utterly achievable. It would cost $5bn (£2.7bn) to save six million children’s lives.

    “World leaders could find 140 times that amount for the banking system in a week. How can they tell us that action for the poorest is too expensive?”

    Gotta agree 100% with that!!!

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  • notaneconomicsguru says:

    Misinformed opinion formers / influencers are significantly adding to the risk of us fixing the symptoms and not the causes. They really ought to keep quiet until they better understand the facts. As far as I have understood it there wasn’t much shorting of HBOS going on – its share price was collapsing largely because of rapidly declining confidence in its business model. They are quite right about the immorality of the current largesse compared with the parsimonious approach to poverty & healthcare – I just wish they’d make much more of that because surely the underlying cause of that is strongly related to the underlying cause of the current financial crises.

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  • When are these santimonous bunch of [email protected] going to go and slag off the guv’mint for allowing this to happen and the banks for financing the boom and now crash?

    Where was the outcry “Property is going up too much” or “Ordinary folk can’t afford to buy ordinary houses” or “How can Thatcher destroy whole communities for her political whims” ? They pick soft targets . They never get involved in politics, where they could actually do some moral good. They (the C of E) are intrinsically bound and immersed within the fabric of government.

    When the self-righteous, Dr Rowan “I think sharia law could work” Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Archbishop of York, Dr John “Isn’t Robert Mgabe a nasty dictator” Sentamu, start making noises about stock market speculators and others “profiting from the doom and gloom” Perhaps they’d better remember the billions they and their predessossors fleeced from the population so they could live in palaces and mansions, passing out purile amounts of doctrine about this , that or the other?

    If there’ss anything I hate more than self serving politicians it’s self serving clergy .

    And if that [email protected] with the eybrow wants to paraphrase Karl Marx how about :

    “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

    Well I for one ain’t addicted to it.

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  • Notaneconomicsguru @9, well said. People that don’t know anything about economics pick up a paper and read the HBOS was brought down short traders, then feel they must make a statement about how unethical these robbers are.

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  • Go nooneo!

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  • And exactly when is Dr Rowan “mr bean” Williams going to lay into:

    1. The property pornstars (yes that’s you Kurtsie) who promoted the “property onl;y goes up” doctrine?
    2. All the developers/speculators whose financial model was based on property going up by well over inflation (15-30%) a year?

    and last but not least

    3. All the people (yes that’s you and me) who only invested in property because they took a punt on the prices going up exponentually over the short term and letting themselves relaese this “equity” to have a new car/holiday/whatever ? Where was this [email protected] when everyone was making “something for nothing” out of the property market?

    Let’s not forget that the Church of England owned (2006 latest figures I could find) £800,000,000 of property and shares……..Oops bet that figure is set to fall….To busy moralising over the rest of us to look after the church’s coffers.

    And those bleedin’ eyebrows, really. A friend of mine’s little girl thinks Dr Rowan is a monster from Dr Who? Another ponce with a BBC accent teling it like it is….pathetic !

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  • nooneo for PM!!

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